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Election 2022 Analysis: Aaron Brown on the Iron Range: Did the Iron Range Go Red? Kinda.


longtime contributor and writer Aaron Brown merges history with analysis of the 2022 election

It was a whirlwind day as we worked hard to report on the outcome of the midterm elections. An election where factors included: redistricting, growing conservatism on the Iron Range as well as a questioning of the election system in general.

Aaron Brown is an Iron Ranger through and through and has made his mark by understanding not only the history, but also the future of the Iron Range.

The question, of course, was will the Iron Range go red? The answer is kinda.

One of the surprise outcomes was DFLer Grant Hauschild from Hermantown winning Senate District Seat 3 over Republican Andrea Zupancich from Babbitt. Aaron talked about how Grant ran his campaign might be a model for the future.

Also winning for the democrats was incumbent DFLer Dave Lislegaard of Aurora over Republican Matt Nori from Virginia - 51.17% to 48.67%.

But the rest? A surprising upset for MN House District 3a where incumbent DFLer Rob Ecklund lost to Ely Republican Mayor Roger Skraba by 15 votes.

Due to redistricting, incumbents Julie Sandstede (DFL) of Hibbing and Spencer Igo (R) of Grand Rapids faced each other for House district 7a. Igo won with 53.75% of the vote to Sandstede's 46.19%.

In Senate District 7 (redistricted but essential the late Senator Dave Tomassoni's seat) Republican Rob Farnsworth of Hibbing won over Nashwauk's Ben DeNucci 53.06% to 46.06%.

But, as Aaron pointed out to us, the MN DFL did win a (small) majority in both the House and Senate. It's going to be an interesting 2023 MN Legislative Session.

Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 20 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota.